Magnitude 8.3 earthquake strikes Chile; tsunami alerts issued across Pacific

People walk to higher ground for safety, in Valparaiso city Thursday after a mass evacuation of the entire coastline during a tsunami alert after a magnitude 8.3 earthquake hit off the coast of Chile on Wednesday night. Photo by Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters

A powerful magnitude 8.3 earthquake struck central Chile, shaking buildings to the north in the capital city of Santiago, Wednesday evening, according to the Associated Press. Officials issued tsunami warnings for the entire country, the news organization reported.

Fifteen-foot waves were reported off the coast near the port city of Coquimbo and several aftershocks were measured in the area of Illapel, Chile.

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet has confirmed three people dead from the tremor, which struck just before 8 p.m. local time.

The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center issued an advisory to parts of California, from San Onofre State Beach just south of Los Angeles, to Ragged Point, 50 miles northwest of San Luis Obispo. The Pacific Tsunami Center also has issued alerts for Japan, Antarctica, and most of the South Pacific, including New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

This post will be updated.

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